A doctor should examine you if you experience the following:
Hoarseness that has no obvious cause or has lasted longer than 2-3 weeks
Hoarseness with difficulty swallowing or breathing, coughing up blood, a lump in the neck, or throat pain out of proportion to that usually seen with the common cold
For some of these symptoms, emergency medical evaluation is indicated. If you have any questions about how quickly to seek care, call your doctor or a local emergency facility.
Complete loss of voice or severe change in voice lasting longer than a few days
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.
You may be referred to an otolaryngologist, also called an ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor, if your laryngitis does not have an easily identified cause or cure.
An ENT doctor will also ask about your medical history and examine your voicebox using a flexible, lighted scope that is passed through your nose and down the back of the throat. In some cases, the doctor will place a mirror in the back of your mouth to see your voicebox. Under some circumstances, other tests may be indicated to evaluate swallowing mechanisms or other processes related to normal voice functioning.
Laryngitis caused by seasonal allergies, cold or
flu, or other viral respiratory infection usually resolves itself within two weeks. To relieve symptoms during this time:
Rest your voice.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Take nonprescription pain relievers (like acetaminophen, ibuprofen) as needed.
Try steam inhalation.
Treating the Underlying Illness
Managing underlying illnesses, such as GERD or viral infections, often relieves laryngitis.
Surgery may be performed to treat growths on the vocal cords, vocal cord paralysis, or some other laryngeal disorders.
Laryngitis as a result of voice overuse usually resolves itself within a few days. Voice therapy is often used to treat voice problems, especially those related to vocal overuse. Voice therapy consists of:
Healthy use of the voice
Instruction in proper voice technique and use of the breathing muscles
The Alexander technique—a method to treat voice impairment by practicing proper breathing and posture
If you are diagnosed with laryngitis, follow your doctor's
You may not be able to prevent some of the illnesses and disorders that can cause laryngitis. However, to prevent and treat mild hoarseness related to laryngitis, the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head, and Neck Surgery recommends the following:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a